The Warsaw Voice » Culture » Monthly - August 28, 2015
On the town
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Canada Day in Warsaw
A crowd of politicians, officials, businessmen and expats attended Canada Day celebrations held by Canadian ambassador Alexandra Bugailiskis at that country’s embassy in Warsaw July 1.

In her welcoming speech, Bugailiskis summarized Canada’s cooperation with Poland in many areas. She said that, during Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent visit to Poland, the two countries’ defense ministers had signed a declaration of intent that aims to facilitate bilateral cooperation between Canada and Poland as strategic military partners.

While in Poland, Harper announced that Canada would contribute staff to the NATO Multinational Corps Northeast Headquarters in the northwestern Polish city of Szczecin. Additionally, Harper announced a new Market Action Plan for Poland aimed at driving commercial relations to a new level, with a focus on key sectors such as aerospace, transportation, mining, oil and gas, sustainable technologies and education.

Bugailiskis, meanwhile, said that “from the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, Canada and Poland have stood strong in calling for a robust and unified response to Russian aggression. As a measure of our friendship, for the first time, Canada has stationed military assets in Poland and Eastern Europe. Canadian CF-18s contributed to Baltic Air Policing; a Canadian frigate has just recently completed a NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea, and Canadian soldiers have been stationed in Drawsko Pomorskie since May 2014.”

Bugailiskis added that “Poland and Canada are also working together to support Ukraine’s efforts to restore stability and implement democratic and economic reforms.” Since the beginning of the crisis in January 2014, Canada has committed more than $680 million in support to Ukraine, Bugailiskis said. “This includes the Poland-Canada Democracy Support reform projects in Ukraine. There are currently 18 projects in the pipeline and there will be a call for additional proposals in the fall,” she added.

Canada Day marks the anniversary of the proclamation of the Constitution Act of 1867, joining Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada province (now Ontario and Quebec) into a single country.

Jolanta Wolska